Steam Charts: We Can Rebuild Edition

As the Steam Charts slowly attempt to reassemble themselves after last week’s complete collapse under the weight of Far Cry 5, think of this week’s compilation as the moment the thought-destroyed terrifying monster is halfway through its grotesque reforming. Witness as its undulating viscera twists through recongealing flesh, a bleak but ghoulish moan emanating from deep within its darkest soul.

10. The Long Dark

A big discount this weekend (you can just catch the end of it if you’re quick) saw a lot more people heading to the wintry climes of Northern Canada, presumably never imagining things are going to be quite so chilly. We adore this game, and have written about it so very many times.

If you are planning to try to survive in this most grimly sparse of sims, then best avoid the poor story mode, Wintermute, and stick to the utterly compelling and terrifying survival section. It’s completely brilliant. And you will be eaten by a wolf.

9. Grand Theft Auto V

What’s Another Thing You Could Buy Instead Of GTA V Again?

This clear computer mouse with a real dead spider inside it oh god don’t click

(PS. GTA V has now made more than any other game, movie, book or album ever, in all of time. And it’s your fault.)

8. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

Of all the most peculiar phenomenons, Vermintide 2 seems to have re-entered the charts by the power of, er, just selling lots of copies at full price. It helps that the Left 4 Rats sequel was sensibly priced at $30/£23 to start with, rather than the increasingly more common madness that is double that. It also helps that they patched it last week, and put in a wee drip of DLC the week before.

Alec speaks highly of its co-op ways, with caveats for its undeniably derivative nature. But then if Valve aren’t going to bother making their games any more, someone else might as well.

7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I’m going to keep posting this screenshot until you all stop buying this game again.

6. PixARK

Fraser was not impressed when he prematurely evaluated all over PixARK last week. A grimly cynical stitching together of Popular Games That The Kids Like, it’s hard to know if it’s more galling that people felt good about saying “Let’s do Minecraft-but-ARK-but-Minecraft-but-ARK,” or that it’s worked. It’s in the charts, and it’ll likely be around a while.

But here’s a thought. If you have a child who adores Minecraft, but you hate them, you could suggest they play this instead. And then laugh at their stupid child face when they constantly die and don’t find any fun things to do.

4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Oh good, Skyrim’s found a new way to plague the charts. The VR edition came out last week, five months after its Playstation Cyberglasses release, which means it’s time to buy the forty-seven year old game again?

I came ridiculously close to buying it again on Switch the other day, but thankfully the outrageous £40 price for the seven year old game stopped me. I don’t even like Skyrim that much! I liked mucking about in it, and I sure had some fun Lydia stories to tell, but the plot and the purpose did very little for me. Which does mean the very last place I want to play it would be in the ghastly confines of VR. But clearly others disagree, with a really surprisingly high placing for a VR-dependent release in the Steam charts. And top work by Alice on the pic for this one.

5, 3 & 2. Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 is a stupid game, and I can’t stop playing it. I get SO MAD with it, so fed up of how awful its vehicle controls are (top tip: grab a controller for any vehicular challenges, because they’ve been abysmally adapted for m/k), so fed up with the incessant drivel being blathered by every character (I’ve never, ever skipped cutscenes and dialogue in a game before. Seriously. But I have for this game. Every single hideous line), and ever-more livid by its god-awful interrupting forced story. And yet there I was too late last night. Here I am planning to play it a bit more before I tell the others I’ve finished writing the Steam Charts so they think I’m still writing this, but actually sneaking in a few more side quests. I can’t work out if it makes me hate the game or myself more.

Alec had better not be lying about what awaits me if I can just get this stupid story over.

1. Plunkbat

Right, everybody just needs to calm down, and have a listen to Speak, Memory by Danny Norbury.

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week.

49 Comments

  1. Henke says:

    “top tip: grab a controller for any vehicular challenges, because they’ve been abysmally adapted for m/k”

    Even more top tip: just play the entire thing with a controller! FC5 feels more pleasant with a gamepad than M+KB, even on PC. I only switch to mouse for the occasional on-rails gun turret section.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Aiming with a controller is, for me anyway, a great way to scare the neighbours, and frighten my children.

    • Rich says:

      Nope. Never been able to use a controller for shooting. The only FPS games where I’ve been remotely capable of playing the whole thing with a controller are the Halo series, since you only have to aim in the rough vicinity of the enemy to get a hit.

      • Sin Vega says:

        That’s exactly why most shooters are better with a controller. You actually have to learn to shoot instead of just clicking on heads.

        • BeardyHat says:

          Maybe, but I’m old now and I get frustrated trying to learn to play effectively with a controller.

        • Chromatism says:

          And anyone who’s played a PC shooter to a high standard knows what an utterly baseless comment that is to make. Though of course, here we’re talking about a single player romp that’s pretty laid back by all standards.

          The entry level shooting with a mouse and keyboard IS easier than with a controller. But mastering the muscle memory, crosshair placement and honing the reflexes needed to survive in higher multiplayer echelons also creates a comparable and, in my opinion, much higher skill ceiling.

          The fact is Far Cry 5, at it’s base difficulty, really isn’t developed with a M+K in mind. It probably is more geared towards a controller. But then I personally prefer not to have my hand held by aim assist and enjoy leading my sniper shots across 200m ranges. Different strokes and all that.

        • suibhne says:

          That’s silly. Yes, an “analog” stick arguably offers more movement control than the “digital” control of a keyboard, but movement isn’t isolated on one set of fingers – it happens in conjunction with aiming. And mouse aiming is so vastly superior that Microsoft shelved cross-platform multiplayer in some past titles because PC gamers were so totally dominant over XBox gamers. Gamepads can certainly be good enough for shooters, but they offer objectively less control for aiming. All else being equal, I’d bet large sums of money on a competitive gamer using a mouse over a gamepad any day (but nobody who knows the mechanics of gaming would actually take that bet).

        • Nelyeth says:

          Played’em like a damn fiddle. Well played, well played.

        • Zenicetus says:

          A controller doesn’t teach you “how to shoot.” No videogame does, that’s silly. Mouse control is objectively superior for aiming. For sniping, you can even use one with a button for temporary higher resolution to slow down the aim.

          Besides, the real issue isn’t controller vs. mouse and keyboard, but that the game is so poorly designed to support mouse and keyboard for controlling vehicles. Because it works fine everywhere else, even the platforming stuff with the grapple hook. The vehicle control is just lazy design.

        • Rich says:

          Your posts may have a fancy pink background, but that doesn’t stop the contents of those posts being absolute nonsense.

          • Rashism says:

            I remember that poor excuse of a Shadowrun game for the 360 being cross platform with Windows machines. I also remember that the PC players stomped on the console players. Every time. To say that a controller is superior to M/K for aiming and shooting is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. History has physically proven the contrary. No one here agrees with you.

  2. napoleonic says:

    My arachnophobic wife is not happy with you for making me laugh so much at the mouse with a spider in it that she turned around to ask what was so funny and traumatised herself at the image on the screen!

    • Aetylus says:

      You also need to make sure your wife understands that the link had oh god don’t click embedded directly into it. That will make her like you more :)

  3. Carra says:

    I picked up the Long Dark in a humble bundle but haven’t gotten around to play it yet. I’ll give it a go one of these days.

  4. Pogs says:

    I understand Steam is probably the major player in games distribution these days but what about top 10’s from someone else such as GOG or Itch so as to promote other platforms. Give this weekly promotion to some other distributor who needs it. Valve really don’t.

    • Slazer says:

      Because this is not about promotion but about looking at which games are being bought/played right now and there is no other shop that shows you anything reliable. FGS gog has NWN2, Heroes III and some game named Tokyo Xanadu in the Top10.
      I get you point, and I am all for equal treatment and not pushing steam even harder to the top, but using any other shop for this article would completely miss the purpose of it. There are at least 4 titles with Steam integration on this list.

      • mmandthetat says:

        So in other words, it would be interesting, instead of a weekly reminder that a bunch of kids still buy Grand Theft Auto, PUBG, and Counterstrike? Yeah, that wouldn’t be as cool.

      • fish99 says:

        Well the chart does miss sales on other platforms so it doesn’t necessarily accurately tell us what people are playing.

    • John Walker says:

      I agree that such an article would be interesting and worthwhile. (I think Itch would be the best antidote to this column.) And we are all very in favour of seeing a more competitive market. But it’s not the purpose of this column. This is about looking at which are the biggest games on PC right now, and Steam is the only realistic way to achieve that. By some orders of magnitude.

      Of course, *my* primary purpose for this column is to write some jokes and offer some entertainment for the reader. A notion that becomes much more appealing when you realise how much traffic it brings in from Steam user drive-bys, and the added entertainment factor of their not knowing what RPS is when they read it.

  5. potatooverlord says:

    ok well not many singleplayer games are gonna live that long, i never heard about kingdom come deliverance till i saw it at the top of the charts and i know farcry really well, and both of them got the same peak, and are probably gonna go back down to <5k in less then 3 weeks….. need online play to keep anything alive nowadays, so then you get stuck with this: shitty game feel just for some multiplayer…. you know what i mean

    • Nelyeth says:

      Today, at ten: games that have a finite storyline tend to be finished by players.

      Of course a multiplayer game will keep its playerbase longer, since its content is essentially infinite, as opposed to a single player game you pick up, finish, and uninstall. That’s why player count is hardly relevant for single player games, compared to the number of sales. Who cares if a single player game “stays alive”, as long as you can play it?

    • John Walker says:

      A game like Far Cry 5 occupying half the chart spots for two weeks running, as well as out-selling everything else on the all-formats charts, means that it will have made its money back in one enormous burst. It’ll have a significant tail, too, just not one that’ll quite trouble the Steam charts beyond re-entries for sales and DLC.

      While publishers are all greedy-eyed lunatics who see the Plunkbats and the GTAs and think, “If we’re not seeing sales like theirs then we’re failing! Make our single-player games somehow do this!”, each lunatic phase of attempts ends in failure. We just have the luxury of being in between lunatic phases just now, as we emerge from the misery of every game coming with a “season pass” or whatever. The current loot crate phase has less of an impact in this particular department.

  6. Cederic says:

    You watch every single line of dialogue and every single cutscene?

    I almost demand that games include a “hit space to skip this highly professional voice actor’s excellent rendition of the line I just read on the subtitle” because life is just too short.

    Can we have an RPS article exploring this subject? Can berate or support either view, or just discuss it with game designers or something.

    • Slazer says:

      I do the same, it really has to reach immense levels of bad dialogue to make me skip, and FC5 is maybe the 3rd or 4th game where I actually did it, not counting replays

    • Doogie2K says:

      I’ll watch damned near any cutscene to completion the first time. After that, I must be able to skip any and all repeated dialogue by mashing Escape/Start/+/whatever when I inevitably eat shit due to being Bad At Games. I might’ve thrown my tiny, tiny, awful-tasting Bayonetta cart against the wall by now if I couldn’t do that.

    • John Walker says:

      I do. Of course that’s partly because if I’m reviewing the game, I can’t really not be watching big bits of it. And it’s partly because I want to follow narratives. It really is quite something for a game’s dialogue to be so, so bad that I’ll skip even quest descriptions. FC5 is bad on a new level for AAA.

      Although funnily enough, FC5 often has characters notice that you skipped their interminable shite and will say something like, “Oh fine, just go and get me five wolf skins” or whatever. Which amuses me – it seems even they knew what a towering pile of toss they were writing.

      And agreed, I’m a read-skipper. You’re right – I should write about that. They precis being, if you hear the voice actor deliver the first few words as you read the other 20, it totally flavours how you read it.

    • Faldrath says:

      God, this is ridiculous. As I suggested in another post, can Ubisoft just remake FC2 with better graphics and no respawning checkpoints instead of making things like FC5?

    • caff says:

      That’s astonishing. All those mechanics and clever AI mechanics gone, like tears in the rain.

  7. Psychomorph says:

    I think Valve is supplying the cheats themselves, to keep the income coming.

  8. ArchRylen says:

    Could you guys do a chart of games with most time played? And, if possible, adjust the list so that all entries are measured a year after release. I think it would be a cool bit of data journalism. It would be unfair to the deliberately short games, but they are trying to do something different from the ones that would make this list.

    • Slazer says:

      You can only get that data from steamspy, so you never know how reliable that is, and the list doen’t look very interesting. It is completely dominated by those online games people play for thousands of hours like Plunkbat, Dota or GTA online

    • necurbanapauperem says:

      Slavish devotion does not correlate to quality of game, but it’s good to open the debate.
      For my mind, there’s nothing wrong with using the Steam Chart as a base and then simply retiring at the 20 or 10 week mark. Stick those in a second smaller list to one side coloured either green (for still would be in the chart) or red (for would have dropped out anyway). Then you get to see potentially what would have been number 13 or 15, something which to my mind is more relevant to the reason I read these charts.
      And you get a sort of Hall of Fame thing going on as an extra to remind us all of the diet we’ve been fed, rather than just what’s dinner tonight.

      • ArchRylen says:

        Exactly. I’m wondering what people stick with. Slazer makes a good point about online multiplayer probably dominating, but those can be somewhat filtered out. (I’d guess Total Warhammer solo vs online battle both show as the same thing, for instance.)

        I like your metaphor: long term diet vs tonight’s dinner.

  9. Ejia says:

    Maybe if different editions of a game take up several spots, the list should be expanded to the first few titles from 11-20? I don’t know if the list these come from show more than ten games, though.

    • John Walker says:

      As ever, this is compiled from a chart released by Valve that only features the top 10.

      And also it’s important to remember the look of sheer joy on my weary face of a Monday morning when I realise I only have to come up with 7 or 8 stupid things to say, instead of 10.

  10. NuclearSword says:

    Hey, it’s not my fault. I am still mercifully GTAV free. Gimme an exotic open world like Sleeping Dogs (not to the mention the more polished, rewarding game mechanics with regards to the fighting, movement, shooting, etc.), or give me the blissful insanity of Saints Row 3 and 4 again. GTA, phooey – how boring.

    Also, that dead spider mouse link shows me that there’s a whole STORE dedicated to “REALBUG” on Amazon. The company also murders Bats and Goldfish for no reason – Fun!

    P.S. Any bets being taken as to when PixArk will add a Battle Royale mode?

  11. Chaz says:

    Skyrim VR, is actually really good. Been spending the past few evenings in it myself.

    • fish99 says:

      I’m enjoying it too.

    • geldonyetich says:

      Me too.

      There’s a strange thing going on with Skyrim VR where people cannot believe we would want to buy the same game for the third time. It seems even our revered Rock Paper Shotgun correspondent is unable to look at it any other way.

      It seems that, only when you actually play actually play Skyrim VR, will you understand why this is not just buying Skyrim again.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Maybe Rockstar is investing the GTAV earnings and using the dividends to buy more GTAV.

  13. TorQueMoD says:

    Anyone know what the screen shot of the Elk at the top is from? Even a goggle image search couldn’t figure it out.

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